INTERNAL CONTROLS EVALUATION

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1 INTERNAL CONTROLS EVALUATION Planning an Internal Controls Evaluation Project Internal Control Documentation Internal Control Testing Evaluation of Internal Control Deficiency Reporting

2 Internal Control Definition Internal control is broadly defined as a process, effected by an entity's board of directors, management and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories: 1. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations. 2. Reliability of financial reporting. 3. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations. (www.coso.org) 2

3 Why Internal Controls Evaluation? Enhanced investors confidence Risk mitigation Improved business processes Better control over operations Reduced losses Regulatory compliance The best practices 3

4 Internal Controls Evaluation Project Phase I Project Planning Phase II Documenting the controls Control Environment Phase III Testing the controls Phase IV Reporting the deficiencies 4

5 Phase I: Project Planning

6 Internal Controls Evaluation Project Phase I Project Planning Phase II Documenting the controls Control Environment Phase III Testing the controls Phase IV Reporting the deficiencies 6

7 Getting Started / Project Initiation Identify the Project Sponsor and get support from Audit Committee and Top Management Establish a cross-functional team Appoint the Team Leader, ideally he must be one of Chief Audit Officer, Chief Financial Officer or Chief Risk Officer. Determine the project scope Arrange logistics for the project team 7

8 Planning an Internal Control Evaluation Finalize the project scope Get an understanding of the business Identify key business processes e.g. Sales & AR, Purchases & AP etc. and their sub-processes Identify the company locations where the assessment will be performed Perform a risk assessment for the business processes 8

9 Key Considerations in Risk Assessment Materiality of transactions for each business process Susceptibility of errors or frauds Nature of the process (for example, reconciliation of suspense accounts generally warrant greater attention) Accounting and reporting complexities associated with the account Exposure to losses represented by the process (for example, loss arising due to cash transactions) Likelihood (or possibility) of significant contingent liabilities arising from the activities represented by the process Existence of related-party transactions in the process Changes in the processes attributes since the previous period (for example, new complexities, subjectivity, or types of transactions) 9

10 Phase II: Internal Control Documentation

11 Internal Controls Evaluation Project Phase I Project Planning Phase II Documenting the controls Control Environment Phase III Testing the controls Phase IV Reporting the deficiencies 11

12 Process of Documenting Internal Controls Identify key business processes Develop the system flow charts Identify key controls Develop the Risk & Control Matrix. 12

13 Sample Business Processes Revenues Customer master file maintenance Pricing and order processing Invoicing Credit and collections Returns Cash application and receipts processing Revenue recognition Incentive programs Reconciliation & Write offs 13

14 Sample Business Processes Purchasing Vendor master file maintenance Requisitions Purchase orders Goods receiving Invoice processing Cash disbursements Reconciliation 14

15 Sample Business Processes Inventory and Production Inventory master file maintenance Inventory quantity control Obsolete and slow-moving inventory control Shipping activities Production activities Receiving activities Inventory costing 15

16 Sample Business Processes Payroll and Employee Benefits Payroll and employee master file maintenance Time and attendance Processing payroll Pension and post retirement benefits Management incentive and stock option programs Payroll disbursement Payroll reconciliation 16

17 Sample Business Processes Capital Spending and Maintenance Capital master file maintenance Capital acquisition requests Depreciation Disposals Leases (operating, capital) 17

18 Sample Business Processes Financial Reporting (including period-end reporting) Planning, budgeting, and management reporting General ledger maintenance Consolidation and adjusting, eliminating and consolidating entries Accounting policies and procedures Account analysis and reconciliations Currency translation Inter-company accounts Adoption of new accounting pronouncements 18

19 Sample Business Processes Treasury and Risk Management Debt and related interest Cash Management Investments and related interest Equity Hedging and derivatives Workers compensation and other self-insurance programs Legal exposures Environmental exposures Guarantees and other commitments 19

20 Sample Business Processes Taxes Income taxes (local, state and federal) effective tax rate valuation allowances tax contingency considerations Sales taxes Property taxes 20

21 Sample Business Processes Information Systems Control environment Program development Program changes Access to programs and data (security access) Computer operations Network Security Physical Security 21

22 Sample Business Processes Others / Miscellaneous Restructurings and impairments Prepaid and other miscellaneous assets Other miscellaneous liabilities and accruals Equity method investments Miscellaneous other income and expense Purchase accounting Discontinued operations 22

23 Flowcharts Keep the main flow of activities and controls in a vertical line down the middle of the flowchart. To the left and right of the flowchart, add the main input and output documents and computer files. The sequence of activities should flow from top to bottom. Each flowchart should take up no more than one printed page. If a flowchart is larger than one page, activities should be grouped into higher-level processes and documented in separate flowcharts. 23

24 Flowcharts Levels The detailed operations and controls that are associated with a company s various business processes can be documented in flowcharts, with each main activity in a given process being assigned its own chart. Documentation at each level should contain a meaningful amount of information without providing too much data. Level 1: Overview of the process containing each of the main activities Level 2: Breakdown of the main activities into sub-activities Level 3: More detailed description of the sub-activities A set of flowcharts that describes every process in detail become very difficult to read because there is little information on the higher levels. A highly complex single-level flowchart may be difficult for the reader to understand. 24

25 Sample Flowchart 25

26 Sample Flowchart 26

27 Risk & Control Matrix Legend C, A, V, R: Completeness, accuracy, validity, restricted access CO, EO, RO, VA, PD: Completeness, existence or occurrence, rights & obligations, valuation or allocation, presentation & disclosure P, D, A, M: Preventive, detective, automated, manual 27

28 Risk & Control Matrix 28

29 Phase III: Internal Control Testing

30 Internal Controls Evaluation Project Phase I Project Planning Phase II Documenting the controls Control Environment Phase III Testing the controls Phase IV Reporting the deficiencies 30

31 Internal Control Testing Process Determine the control framework Assess the design of controls Select the controls to be tested Develop test plans Assign responsibilities to perform the testing Develop and execute the test plans Evaluate the test results 31

32 The COSO Framework 32

33 Control Environment Integrity and ethical values Commitment to competence and development of people Management s philosophy and operating style Organizational structure Assignment of authority and responsibility Human resources policies and procedures Participation by those charged with governance (i.e., board of directors, audit committee) 33

34 Risk Assessment 34

35 Control Activities Top level reviews Direct functional supervision Information processing controls Safeguarding of assets / physical controls Performance Indicators Segregation of Duties 35

36 Information & Communication Accounting systems Policy systems Management reports Newsletters Accounting policy matters Technical updates Staff meetings Training 36

37 Monitoring On-going monitoring by the management Internal audits Management reviews Audit committee activities Disclosure committee activities Self-assessment reviews Ongoing monitoring Special evaluations Information systems audit 37

38 Assess the design of controls The alignment between controls and risks Frequency of the control Knowledge & experience of people involved in design, implementation and performance of the control Level of segregation of duties Timeliness in addressing issues and exceptions Reliability of information used in performance of control Period covered by the control 38

39 Assess the design of controls 39

40 Selecting Controls for Testing Materiality in impact Likelihood Overall risk rating 40

41 Team for testing the controls Experts in Finance, Audit and Operations for manual controls Experts in Information Systems, Network, Operating System and Database for automated controls Experienced in walkthroughs and controls testing 41

42 Develop & execute the test plans Key controls to be tested Normally management will summarize the controls to be tested. Nature of tests to be used Tests should be categorized as inquiry, observation, examination, or re-performance. Extent of testing The plans should specify the number of items that are to be tested and the method and reasons for selecting those items. Timing of procedures The plans should specify when the testing should be performed and the time span that the tests cover, including update testing planned from the interim testing date to year-end. Key administrative items The plans should identify who will perform the test, when the test will be performed, what evidence will be reviewed, and where the control is performed. Documentation The plans should describe the documentation required. Exceptions The plans should describe how exceptions will be investigated and addressed and when additional testing should be performed. 42

43 Nature of tests 43

44 Extent of testing 44

45 Phase IV: Reporting Deficiencies

46 Internal Controls Evaluation Project Phase I Project Planning Phase II Documenting the controls Control Environment Phase III Testing the controls Phase IV Reporting the deficiencies 46

47 Evaluation of Internal Control Deficiencies Identify the deficiency Assess likelihood of potential loss resulting from the deficiency Assess magnitude of potential loss resulting from the deficiency Identify compensating controls Determine the effectiveness and efficiency of compensating controls Determine classification of deficiencies Assess deficiencies in aggregation with others 47

48 Factors affecting evaluation Nature of the transaction, financial statement accounts, disclosures, and assertions involved; Susceptibility of the related assets or liability to loss or fraud (that is, greater susceptibility increases risk); Subjectivity, complexity, or extent of judgment required to determine the amount involved (that is greater subjectivity, complexity, or judgement, like that related to an accounting estimate, increases risk); Cause and frequency of known or detected exceptions for the operating effectiveness of a control; Interaction or relationship of the control with the other controls (that is, the interdependence or redundancy of the control); Interaction of the deficiencies; Control environment and motivation for frauds; Possible future consequences of the deficiency. 48

49 Classification of deficiencies Deficiencies related to: Anti-fraud programs and controls Controls over non-routine or non-systematic transactions Controls over the period-end financial reporting process and over the selection and application of accounting policies that are in conformity with GAAP Information systems controls Controls over strategic planning 49

50 Reporting the Deficiencies Deficiency description Likelihood Magnitude Overall impact Risk rating Recommendation Action plan agreed with the management Implementation date of agreed action plan Follow-up testing required Results of follow-up testing 50

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